Lately, In Science

Tracking CFC emissions: a scientific mystery story

Sarah-Jane O'Connor May 23, 2019

Thirty years ago, in May 1989, global leaders gathered in Helsinki to sign into force the Montreal Protocol. You might not be familiar with it by name, but you certainly know its effects: the Montreal Protocol phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, and other ozone-depleting substances in an effort to reverse the damage to the ozone layer. It’s … Read More

Improving health news through press releases

Sarah-Jane O'Connor May 18, 2019

In 2014 a study was published that challenged an oft-cited criticism that journalists are to blame for hyped-up health stories. Sensational headlines, breathless reporting, caveats buried so far down the story that most readers never find them. We hear these complaints all the time about the media. But this study, published in The BMJ, turned the claims on their … Read More

Violence in the media and cycles of trauma

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Apr 26, 2019

As governments consider tightening the reins on social media companies and the platforms’ use in terrorism, new research highlights the impact of being exposed to such violence. Following last month’s mosque shootings in Christchurch, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced plans to co-host a meeting in Paris called the “Christchurch Call”. The aim will be to have world leaders … Read More

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Where is the social responsibility among social media companies?

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Mar 19, 2019

An 18-year-old has appeared in court on charges relating to sharing a video of a terrorist attack last week, but where is the accountability for the social media platforms that enabled it to be shared in the first place? Much of Friday afternoon was surreal: we went from celebrating the action of thousands of New Zealand teenagers protesting about the … Read More

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Cold-store snails, data for sale and NZ’s lost birds – our favourite science journalism from October

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Nov 01, 2018

Phew, it’s been a busy month in the news agenda: from the IPCC’s 1.5C report to turmoil in the National party and tragedy in Wanaka and Mt Cook. Through all of that, you’d be forgiven for missing some of the excellent science-related stories that have been published over the past month. But never fear, we’ve collated some of our favourites … Read More

Cults, leaky houses and a belated obituary – great journalism from July and August

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Aug 31, 2018

Spring is just around the corner which means the Science Media Centre team have been enjoying late winter vacations. Here’s a double-issue instalment of the great science journalism we’ve enjoyed during July and August. Seen, read or listened to anything you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below. High Hopes: Who Will Benefit From NZ’s Legal … Read More

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Funding science journalism in Aotearoa

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jul 23, 2018

The Aotearoa New Zealand Science Journalism Fund is now in its third round, with applications closing this week, which seems like a good time to celebrate some of the great journalism that’s been enabled by the fund. It’s the first independent journalism fund dedicated to furthering coverage of the science-related issues that impact New Zealanders. Dr Rebecca Priestley, winner … Read More

Flat Earthers, data breaches and the human cost of meth testing – June journalism

Sarah-Jane O'Connor Jun 29, 2018

From human stories about the impacts of meth testing, to whether or not to debate scientific facts, here are some of the stories that caught our eye at the Science Media Centre this month. Seen, read, listened to anything great? Let us know in the comments. NZ’s natural born killer: Inside our war on stoats Jamie Morton, NZ Herald … Read More